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Duale And Murkomen Clash Over Role Of Parliament In The Wake Of COVID-19 Crisis

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen [Photo/Courtesy]

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale has rubbished claims by his Senate Counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen that Parliament no longer serves the interests of Kenyans but the Executive arm of government.

Murkomen had on Monday stated that Parliament had failed Kenyans in regards to the unprecedented negative effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has left many Kenyans jobless as businesses are shutting down and others scaling down. According to the lawmaker, the House had failed to enact laws to cushion Kenyans in the wake of the economic slowdown.

In a series of tweets, Duale told off Murkomen saying the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator should speak for the Senate as the National Assembly is much “alive” and not “dead” as claimed.

“Well, Senator Kipchumba please be specific because unless you mean Senate is ” DEAD” or “DIED ALONG TIME AGO”, the National Assembly is alive and doing what it knows best, that is resolving issues of concern of the people of Kenya, ” Duale said on Monday night.

Read: “Parliament Is Dead”, Murkomen Says After Criticism Over MPs Laxity Amid COVID-19 Economic Crisis

“Tomorrow, I invite you to follow our proceedings as we sit to deliberate on measures geared towards cushioning Kenyans from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Garissa Township MP warned Murkomen that his remarks are uncalled for at a time Kenyans need the much-needed help to pull through the COVID-19 crisis.

“The unprecedented time we are facing now calls us as leaders and institutions to pull together. It is not time to assign blame or look inward by calling the Institution you head, dead! What hope do you give our people! It is indeed, sad and I hope you know when you call Senate ‘Dead’ it beats logic why its existence, said Duale.

“As the National Assembly, we will through all means seek to implement the proposals by the Executive. However, in doing so we will also oversight as we have always done in line with our constitutional mandate espoused in Article.

“To those who think being at loggerheads with other arms of government is the evidence of a mortal institution have no idea about their constitutional duties.”

In a quick rejoinder, Murkomen, however, differed with the MP accusing the National Assembly of being directly under the control of the Executive which does nothing but rubber-stamping the President’s directives instead of coming up with independent measures to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Read Also: Only 53 MPs Will Be Allowed Into Parliament Chambers In New COVID-19 Guidelines

“Bro you are going there to rubber stamp Executive decisions. Don’t lie to Kenyans. Let’s return Parliament to what it ought to be not a puppet…This rebuttal was written at the behest of some other forces. In future take the courage to exercise your own independent judgement, ” said Murkomen.

“If we return Parliament to be the Independent institution anticipated in the 2010 Constitution then we shall be of help to our Jubilee in governing the country better and give greater benefit to the people. If we continue this way history will judge us harshly.”

Read Also: “History Will Judge Us Harshly”, MP Mohammed Ali Wants Parliament To Convene Special Sitting Over COVID-19 Health Crisis

The National Assembly is expected to reconvene today to discuss recent directives issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta including tax measures aimed at cushioning Kenyans from effects of COVID-19 i.e. reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 16  per cent to 14 per cent, income tax reduction and the supplementary budget estimates.

The lawmakers are also expected to consider the stages of the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, containing part of the measures to address the taxation regime due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The two houses were expected to reconvene last week to debate on ways to cushion Kenyans from effects of COVID-19 but suspended the sittings last minute after President Uhuru Kenyatta banned movement in and out of Nairobi.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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